Death of a Hard Drive...and Rebirth. The SpinRite Factor

It's kinda funny to see how folks 'tudes change when things go from great to worse. For example; I always used to laugh when folks told me how great their Chiropractor made their back feel. I thought they were just a Western version of a witch doctor with newer magazines. Until I hurt my back on a business trip... A Sales Rep drove me to his Chiropractor for help. I was hurtin' so much I would have sacrificed a chicken myself to feel better. This Dude made me a believer and I added him to my Christmas Card list! This has not been a good laptop week for me. My TFT monitor flamed out in San Jose, so I could not watch, "A Fish Called Wanda" er, um...I mean get some work done on the plane ride out and back. I replaced that then two days later, my hard drive starting failing. I had page faults so bad I could hardly work AND the fish ain't biting so this is a huge deal. I felt defeated ordering another hard drive, kinda like when I knew I was fixin' to get a whoopin' and I heard my Dad pull up in the driveway... Now, I don't know about y'all but my list of things I dislike looks a little like this: - Going Mother In Laws for the weekend - Drinking Light Beer - Watching any movie with Jude Law - Writing apps in Java - Replacing a Hard Drive I backup my data often. With cheap external drives and USB2 speeds it is silly not to. But the problem is returning my system back to what it was. That means finding all those darn licensing keys and install disks. I complained about my upcoming plight on twitter, and of course like a real knob I turned it into a silly "This is why I love my Mac more the my PC" Most likely the same hard drive is in both machines. One Dude @ahndymac recommended that before I turn into Chalka on Land of the Lost and take it out on my hard drive, take a look at a piece of software from http://www.GRC.com called SpinRite. Normally, I would blow that type of stuff off. Not to be a whanker, but I know that many hackers write FakeWare that claims to fix problems, but really it just acts as a vector to distribute their Malware. I look at stuff like this; hardware is fixed by hardware and software is fixed by software and turkeys are best deep fried instead of oven roasted. I am aware of Steve Gibson's work at GRC. He is famous for his Shields Up program for security and his documented journey chasing down a script kiddie DDOS'er. I just forgot all about it until @ahndymac mentioned it again. I purchased SpinRite for 89 bucks. It downloaded so fast that I thought I just downloaded a symbolic link or crappy program. I went to read the documentation for the product and it is for version 5.0 and I have version 6.0. The docs mention numerous times to burn a boot disk and that a 1.4M disk works best. Did I fall thought a wormhole in the yard and end up in 1994? Diskette? I am starting to get torked, but I trust GRC I know they are the real deal. They had an option to burn an ISO to a bootable CD, so that is what I did. I booted the program up and hey it's a DOS like interface. Ah the good ole days...I selected option 4 to do maintenance on the hard drive and I let it cook. The program keep staying it had only a couple hours to go on a 60GB hard drive. I thought that was just way too fast and there is no way this is going to work. This program looks like it was wrote in Assembly and unless Steve figured out a way to make Assembly run at warp 9, there is no way this is going to work. I was feeling ripped off. 18 hours later...The program finished running and truthfully I was grateful it ran so long. That boosted my confidence some. I rebooted and started my normal work day. I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT! This program WORKED!!! Not only is the page fault issue totally gone, ALL my applications open faster, the seek time is tons quicker, I could not be more impressed. I am typing this blog on that machine right now. My hard drive was page faulting so bad yesterday, there is no way I could have done that. SpinRite is not like defrag or checkdisk, SpinRite is in a class of its own for low level disk analysis and repair. There is also a data recovery option that I did not test. Bottom Line: SpinRite 6.0 from http://www.GRC.com is the haps! I highly recommend that every engineer have a copy of this program and run it once a quarter to optimize their machines. I also recommend that you follow hard drive witch doctor @ahndymac on twitter! Jimmy Ray

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